Surplus rainfall in August and September is likely to keep food and vegetable prices elevated going forward, and retail inflation may average at around 4 percent in FY20, an SBI research report said.
In October, inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) spiked to a 16-month high of 4.62 percent on costlier food items.
In 2019 five states- Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Karnataka bore the brunt of excess rainfall and were affected by severe floods.
The surplus rainfall during August and September seriously damaged many Kharif crops.
“Going forward, thus, food and vegetable prices could remain elevated, and inflation prints in November still may be on a higher side due to the low base in 2018. We expect FY20 CPI to now average closer at 4 percent,” SBI research report- Ecowrap said.
In the fourth bi-monthly monetary policy announced in October, RBI had projected at 3.5-3.7 percent for H2 of FY20 and 3.6 percent for the first quarter of FY21.
The report said even as food CPI will remain elevated, core CPI will go below 3 percent in this fiscal.
According to the report, RBI may cut repo rate in the upcoming December monetary policy meeting and may pause thereafter on concerns over inflation.
“We expect a December rate cut, but beyond December, it will be a close decision (as inflation prints beyond October will remain elevated). Thus, it will be better if the rate cut is front-loaded in December,” the report added.